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15 Fastest WordPress Hosting Providers Compared (14,000 Individual Tests Between 2021-2024)

The problem with trying to find the fastest WordPress hosting available is that you can’t really do it overnight. You certainly don’t just want to believe the hosts’ own marketing materials (since I have yet to come across a host that doesn’t say they’re the fastest around), and doing any performance tests of your own will take time.

Plus, are you really going to buy 10–15 different hosting setups only to test their loading times and uptime across 3+ years so that you can then pick the top one at the end of it all?

Clearly, no one would be that mad, would they be?

Would they?!

Yeah, so we actually did just that.

What you’re about to see is a summary of our findings, learnings, and commentary on the top hosts in the WordPress space – plus how fast they really are. This is all based on around 14,000 individual measurements/tests done over the last 3+ years.

👉 If you want to learn about our methodology in detail, click here.

If you want to get straight to the results, keep reading. 👇

Here are the fastest WordPress hosts according to our tests

First, the main thing that everyone wants to know…so who is the fastest host?

Who’s the fastest all time?

Now here’s the best answer: it depends!

But also doesn’t – since there’s clearly someone with the lowest average load time.

I’m going to show you the data and you can decide what to make of it yourself.

First off, given that we’re testing those hosts from different locations, this already has a huge influence on load times. After all, our test servers are somewhere, and if that “somewhere” is closer to the test node, then the load time is going to be better than when it’s on the other side of the globe.

Then, there are also other factors that influence these results, which aren’t strictly related to the server infrastructure but more to the other software and optimizations that the hosting company is implementing to make the perceived speed of the setup better. I consider all that fair game, plus there’s really no way to remove that variable from the equation.

With all that said, here are the fastest WordPress hosts when looking at their all-time (2021-now) average load times in our testing (ordered by US load time, dark green represents the lowest load time in column):

load time average all time

Here’s a more granular look of all the hosts, their average load times from each testing region (again), plus minimum and maximum recorded load times and standard deviation (in alphabetical order):

fastest hosts min max stdev
  • We have relatively less data for Rocket than for the other hosts (started tracking Q4 of 2022), so take it for what it is.
  • Flywheel has Fastly CDN enabled by default, and you cannot disable it from the user panel. I put this in the category of “web host trying to make the experience better for its users,” so I can’t really hold it against them, but it still needs to be mentioned.
  • One caveat: GoDaddy had the most problems with downtime throughout all this time. So in short, it was fast…when it worked.

Reality check 🔮

I realize that many of you will be more interested in who’s actually the most performant host right now instead of last year or even three years ago. Perfectly understandable!

So here it is:

Who’s the fastest this year and month?

Here are the fastest hosts of 2024 so far (ordered by US load time; dark green represents the lowest load time in column):

fastest WordPress hosts per load time this year

And if you’re invested in the fastest WordPress hosts this month, here’s that:

fastest per load time this month

Not a good month for DreamHost.

Who’s the most consistent over time?

Conclusion: based on our tests, Rocket and Flywheel deliver the most consistent performance over time.

Okay, so the average speed is one thing, but the next thing I wanted to find out was how each hosting company’s loading times have progressed over time.

It just seemed interesting to see whether these hosting companies offer the same performance year after year or if there’s any variance at all. Ideally, you’d want to see them getting faster – as every hosting company learns how to be a better hosting company with each year of experience 🤗…though that seemed like a fairytale, honestly, so I really wasn’t expecting much.

I tried various visualization methods that could effectively depict these trends in load times for different web hosts. An approach that ended up being the most worthwhile was using line charts to track the performance of each host from quarter to quarter.

These charts are straightforward:

  • each line represents load times as measured from a given region for a single host;
  • each point on that line marks the loading time recorded for a particular quarter;
  • there’s a trend line to show progression over time.

This visual representation helps pinpoint which hosts have improved their speed, which have remained consistent, and which may have experienced declines. Here’s the gallery of hosts:

📈 Click here to see the charts:

Click charts to expand.

As you can see there, there actually is quite a lot going on(!). Most of the hosts have managed to improve their load times each year. Only a couple of them stayed roughly the same or got worse. I’d also like to point your attention to the raw values (in seconds) on the Load Time axis. For example, even though Flywheel’s fall from grace looks pretty steep, it’s only an actual change from 0.2s to 0.8s of load time, which is still pretty great.

Okay, so those are the individual hosts, when looked at one by one. However, I also wanted to see them all in one chart. To do that, I created a cumulative average chart. This chart aggregates the loading times of each host across all recorded quarters while also smoothing out short-term fluctuations to reveal longer-term trends. By doing so, it highlights which hosts have consistently maintained fast loading times and which have seen their performance vary.

Here’s the chart for measurements from the US:

cumulative average load time chart US

Here it is for the EU:

cumulative average load time chart EU

The findings were revealing. Some hosts showed remarkable consistency with minimal fluctuation in speed, while others displayed significant variability.

  • For example, check out the aforementioned Flywheel, which appeared to be worsening but actually still sits at the very bottom of the chart (it’s the fastest).
  • Cloudways, for comparison, has the flattest chart of all the hosting companies. This is in no way surprising; let’s not forget that they don’t actually have any server infrastructure of their own but instead host through the cloud hosting giants like Google or Digital Ocean (our test setup uses Digital Ocean).

Consistency vs peak performance

The above shows us a visual picture of how consistent those hosts are when it comes to speed, but let’s also take it from a different perspective and investigate the relationship between consistency vs peak performance among these hosting services.

This involves looking at the average load times and comparing them with their variability (standard deviation) to understand not just who is the fastest on average but also who maintains the most consistent performance.

Here’s how to do this:

  • Get the average load time and standard deviation for each host to gauge both speed and consistency.
  • Create a scatter plot where each host is represented by a point. The x-axis shows the average load time (speed), and the y-axis presents the standard deviation (consistency).

This will help visualize which hosts not only offer low load times on average but also maintain consistent performance over time:

scatter plot consistency vs peak performance for site speed

Some observations:

  • Lower left quadrant. Hosts in this area offer both low average load times and low variability, indicating they are not only fast but also consistent. All things considered, the three hosts there – Flywheel, Rocket, GoDaddy – are the ones that show the best combination of speed and consistency over time.
  • Upper right quadrant. Hosts here have higher average load times and greater variability, suggesting that you might have some better and worse periods with them.
  • There isn’t much of anything in the lower right and upper left quadrants.
  • There are multiple hosts in the middle, meaning that they exhibit good consistency and performance throughout.

Who’s the fastest “managed WordPress” host?

Conclusion: Flywheel is the fastest managed host, GoDaddy is the fastest standard host. Managed WordPress hosts are not significantly faster than standard hosts.

So there’s this thing I’ve been thinking about, and not just me but probably everyone who’s ever seen the label “managed WordPress hosting.” Are those hosts actually any faster?

We actually do have a handful of managed setups in our test site portfolio, so I could find that out. I pitted those managed” hosts against “standard” hosts. Here’s the lineup:

Standard hosts:

  • A2
  • Bluehost
  • DreamHost
  • GoDaddy
  • GreenGeeks
  • HostGator
  • Hostinger
  • InMotion
  • Namecheap
  • Scala

Managed WordPress:

  • Cloudways
  • Flywheel
  • Kinsta
  • Rocket
  • SiteGround
  • WP Engine

To determine who comes on top, I checked the overall average load times for each host across all regions and then ranked them within their respective groups.

When put all together, here are the top three fastest hosts in each category (according to their average load times):

🌐 Fastest standard hosts:

  1. GoDaddy: 0.74s
  2. Bluehost: 1.35s
  3. Namecheap: 1.46s

🛠️ Fastest managed hosts:

  1. Flywheel: 0.47s
  2. Rocket: 0.59s
  3. Cloudways: 1.09s

Or, to look at a broader picture, here are the average load times for all standard hosts and all managed hosts:

Standard hosts: 1.76s

Managed hosts: 1.49s

Do you get more speed with managed WordPress hosts? Yes, but only marginally.

In the end, paying premium on managed hosts doesn’t seem to be worth it if all you’re after is speed.

Speaking of money:

Who’s the fastest cheap WordPress host?

This one’s quick: it’s Namecheap.

They’re not only the cheapest host in the lineup but also one that sits near the top of the pack speed-wise (at no. 5). Here’s how the price vs speed picture lines up:

fastest cheapest WordPress hosts

But hold on, we’re not done with the topic of pricing yet. Far from that, actually! I have something much more interesting for you next:

“Speed Dollars” – or how much speed you get for your buck

The topic of money is always interesting and an important one when deciding which of these hosting companies to choose. You’d assume that the more you invest, the better performance you should get overall – faster load times, less downtime, better user experience in total, etc.

But is that really the case?

So just taking the speed aspect into account, I wanted to calculate “how much speed” you get for each dollar spent.

Introducing Speed Dollars!

The need for speed…and value!

I was wondering how to make these calculations all make sense and for the final Speed Dollar amounts to actually represent anything. After some trial and error, I’ve decided to go with the following:

I started by noting the slowest speed a website took to load across the entire data set, which was 6.55s.

Wondering what the host was that recorded this slowest load time? I’m not going to tell you. You’ll have to look through the data set yourself for that easter egg. 😃

Next, I asked a simple question: For every dollar or euro I spend, how much can I reduce that sluggish 6.55 seconds?

To find the answer, I used a formula that’s pretty straightforward:

speed dollar

Here’s what that math does:

  • 6.55 – average load time: This tells us by how much a hosting service can decrease that maximum sluggish time.
  • Divided by price: This shows how much each second of speed improvement costs.

The result? The Speed Dollar. The higher this number, the less you pay for each second your page loads faster, which means you’re getting more speed for your buck!

Now for the results:

Speed Dollars for tests from the US

Conclusion: Namecheap and InMotion Hosting give you the “most speed per dollar spent.”

Here are the calculated Speed Dollar values, indicating how many seconds each dollar spent can shave off from the maximum load time of 6.55 seconds (when measured from testing locations in the US):

  1. Namecheap: 3.66 seconds shaved off per dollar spent
  2. InMotion: 2.49
  3. Bluehost: 1.96
  4. Hostinger: 1.87
  5. DreamHost: 1.78
  6. SiteGround: 1.67
  7. GreenGeeks: 1.67
  8. A2: 1.62
  9. HostGator: 1.53
  10. Scala: 1.35
  11. GoDaddy: 0.82
  12. Cloudways: 0.49
  13. Flywheel: 0.47
  14. WP Engine: 0.28
  15. Rocket: 0.24
  16. Kinsta: 0.18

Once again, Namecheap comes on top as the host that offers the best value in terms of reducing load time for each dollar spent, making it a highly cost-effective option.

Speed Euros for tests from the EU

Having done the math for the US, why not do the same for EU, right? Here are the Speed Euros for the hosts, ordered from best value:

  1. Namecheap: 3.23 seconds shaved off per euro spent
  2. InMotion: 2.34
  3. Hostinger: 2.15
  4. SiteGround: 1.96
  5. GreenGeeks: 1.87
  6. Bluehost: 1.86
  7. Scala: 1.70
  8. DreamHost: 1.58
  9. A2: 1.35
  10. HostGator: 1.30
  11. GoDaddy: 0.87
  12. Cloudways: 0.57
  13. Flywheel: 0.47
  14. Rocket: 0.25
  15. WP Engine: 0.24
  16. Kinsta: 0.16

The order is nearly the same, with only a couple of changes here and there. Namecheap, again, comes out on top.

Is there any correlation between price and load time?

Conclusion: higher prices do not guarantee significantly better performance.

The experiment above was fun, but is there actually any real correlation between price and speed?

To find out, let’s check if there’s a statistically significant relationship between the cost of hosting services and their average load times.

Here’s the plan:

  • Calculate the correlation coefficient between prices and average load times to quantify the relationship.
  • Create a scatter plot to visually assess the relationship between price and performance across all hosts.

Here’s the scatter plot that presents this:

scatter plot price vs load time
  • The correlation coefficient of -0.265 indicates a weak negative relationship between price and load time. This suggests that higher prices might be associated with slightly faster load times, but the relationship is not strong.
  • The scatter plot shows a broad spread of data points. While some higher-priced hosts offer lower average load times, there are exceptions where cheaper hosting services perform competitively, offering low load times at a lower price.

This analysis indicates that while there might be a slight tendency for more expensive web hosting services to provide faster load times, the correlation is weak. Therefore, higher prices do not guarantee significantly better performance, and there are economical hosting options that offer competitive speeds.

Conclusions conclusions

Putting all this data together, which of the top three hosts would I actually recommend?

Based on all this analysis conducted across several metrics – average load times, price-to-performance ratio (Speed Dollars), consistency in performance, and improvement over time – here are my top recommendations, in two scenarios:

“I want the fastest host here!”

Rocket

  • Performance and cost: It’s a tough case with Rocket. The performance is rock-solid, as you’ve seen in the tests. But it’s just roughly 15x more expensive than Namecheap. So in the end, if I were to recommend a lightning-fast WordPress host to you personally (in the ~$30 / mo range), it would be it. (We host this very site on Rocket, btw.)
  • Consistency: It’s been superbly consistent. However, keep in mind that we have comparatively less data for Rocket – about half of what we have for the other hosts.

Alternatively:

Flywheel

  • Performance and cost: While not the best score when it comes to Speed Dollars, the raw performance of Flywheel cannot be ignored. It’s among the top two fastest hosts we’ve measured.
  • Consistency: Flywheel exhibited a super-low variability in load times, placing it in a great position in terms of consistency according to the scatter plot.

“I want the most speed for the money”

Namecheap

  • Performance and cost: Namecheap consistently showed up as providing excellent value for money, with one of the highest Speed Dollar and Speed Euro values.
  • Consistency: Although not the absolute fastest, it provides a good balance between cost and performance, with relatively consistent load times.

Alternatively:

InMotion

  • Performance and cost: InMotion also showed good performance in terms of Speed Dollars and Speed Euros. It offers competitive prices, making it an attractive choice for those balancing budget and speed.
  • Consistency: Exhibits consistent performance with a lower variability in load times, plus it has also slightly improved its performance over time.

Let’s zoom back out 🔭

Our methodology

Let me give you a bit of backstory first:

I think we started this experiment around 2019. It began rather simple; we just wanted to see who’s faster, Bluehost or SiteGround. Then we added WP Engine to the mix, and then before we knew it, our portfolio of “unneeded” hosting accounts had grown to 16 in total.

Yes, you read that right. For some reason, we keep paying for 16 different web (and) WordPress hosting accounts and use them for nothing else than “science” purposes to check how fast they actually load and which is the fastest one.

This brings us to today. I figured, why not just show you the results of these tests, the historical spreadsheets, plus some conclusions and considerations on the topic of the fastest WordPress hosting overall?

I used the word “science” there in quotes since what we did wasn’t really science. The experiment started rather organically, with no specific thought process behind it and no big planning. There are certainly some holes in this approach, and feel free to point them out in the comments, but I still think the overall findings might be helpful for those of you interested in this kind of stuff.

Unfortunately, we didn’t track the early numbers when we just had a couple of hosts on record. We only started doing that around 2021, when the lineup was already 12–14. Before that, we just shared the load times from month to month.

Here’s how we set up each host and how we do our tests:

We buy each hosting setup independently

We don’t inform the hosting company about what we intend to do. We want to be just ol’ regular customers for each of them.

We also use these setups to write individual reviews for those hosts, so sometimes we buy the entry-level plans, sometimes higher tiers of hosting.

We run a test site on each host

We use WordPress on all our test sites. We install WordPress…well…normally – through the host’s own panel or cPanel. Nothing fancy.

We then make every site look the same:

  • All sites use the same theme (Neve) and starter design (see below).
  • All sites have the same test content; it’s the stock content of the starter site design.
  • All sites also have the same set of popular plugins to add some extra load. Right now, the stack is: All In One WP Security, Templates Patterns Collection (Themeisle’s starter designs), WP Statistics, WPForms, Yoast SEO.
🎨 Click here to see the design:
Our test website design.

The idea behind this is that we want these websites to emulate a real website as much as possible. We really didn’t want to just have a simple HTML page with 3B of content on it. In that scenario, each host would probably do a great job loading it in no time.

The homepages of our sites are around 650KB, which, while still not huge, does manage to feature all the common design elements (which you can see in the screenshot above).

Here’s roughly how the individual resources break down:

test websites resources

Other important considerations:

  • We don’t equalize the settings of the servers. In short, we want to give some benefit to the hosts that go the extra step and try to gain an inch by fine-tuning their server configuration. More or less, we want to make our experience similar to what a normal user’s experience would be when they walk into a host. I’d argue that most users (at least on the entry-level plans) won’t fiddle with a lot of options in their hosting config files.
  • We update all the plugins, themes and WordPress core every month.

And, lastly, sorry, we won’t make the addresses public. We just don’t want the companies (or anyone else) messing with them and skewing the results over time.

What we measure and how

There’s a lot of tools and options to test load times and uptimes of your website, so that’s good, but we had some requirements when picking one:

  • We’re interested in the total load time (“time to fully loaded”) of each of our test setups. Metrics like initial response times or FCP times can be misleading and aren’t really representative of an actual user’s experience or perceived speed of the site. That’s why we went the distance and decided to measure the time it takes to load the page entirely.
  • We wanted to be able to test the sites from multiple locations around the globe.
  • We wanted to emulate an actual web connection and user browser in an attempt to make it not be a lab-like experiment. Know those labels that tell you what distance an electric vehicle can supposedly go on one charge? Yeah, you can predict the problem with those. We wanted to avoid somewhat the same thing when testing hosts.
  • We needed to do multiple tests per site and then average out the numbers to get the final “typical” load time. Ideally, in the range of 3–5.

Given the experiment was an organic one, the choice of tools also evolved organically. I started doing this with Pingdom Tools totally by hand. Meaning, I clicked through the interface, inputted the site, and picked each location individually. Then repeat. Then repeat.

It was pretty doable somewhere up to the fifth site mark. Above that, I’ve decided to switch to something that can be more automated.

The math just doesn’t work in our favor here…16 sites x 6 locations x 5 runs each. That’s 480 individual tests every month. Have mercy on me; I’m not clicking this through on my own any longer! 😃

There’s just one solution on the web that can deliver all that – WebPageTest. It has an API, plus some interesting open-source scripts available on the web. It’s highly customizable and lets you test your site from basically all over the world.

I’ve experimented with different test locations and parameters over the years, but as of 2024, I’ve gone for what they call a “native” connection (with no traffic shaping*) and used the desktop version of Chrome as the end user environment. We’ve been testing our sites from N.Virginia (USA), California (USA), Utah (USA), London (UK), Paris (France), and Mumbai (India).

* WebPageTest also lets you set up emulated testing for different connections, like cable, DSL, 3G, LTE, and so on, plus all sorts of popular browsers and devices. Truly powerful stuff. Would recommend.

What about uptime?

Oh, right, tracking uptime is much simpler. We picked UptimeRobot for that.

It pays attention to uptime 24/7 and records every second of downtime. It also gives us one year of history, plus those cool status pages for each of the hosts. Plus, we put the older numbers in a separate spreadsheet not to lose any data older than one year.

I’m only mentioning this for context. Uptime doesn’t have much to do with site speed, but I thought some of you would be interested to see this as well. Feel free to go to our status page and see up to a year of history for each host.

We’re finally reaching the end here. What do you think of the results of this ongoing experiment of ours? Speak up in the comments below.

Bonus: See the raw spreadsheet

You know the drill; leave us your email below 👇👇👇 and you’ll get the CSV delivered straight to you. 💾 💾 💾

 
Yay! 🎉 You made it to the end of the article!
Karol K

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Bob Lucore
May 3, 2024 8:19 pm

Most hosts provide a no-cost LetEncrypt SSL. Namecheap does not. After the first year, you get dinged for an SSL certificate. So users really need to factor that in when comparing costs vs. speed.

Hadee
May 2, 2024 3:06 am

Thank you for doing and sharing this.

How about adding hosts from EU, Asia and Australia into the mix as well since you are testing from these regions?

Chris Fitzgerald
October 31, 2018 3:30 pm

Thanks for your comment, Mithun 🙂

We love Kinsta, we use it ourselves 🙂 We will look into an update of this article.

Mithun
October 31, 2018 8:00 pm

Thanks 🙂

Ironstartech
August 9, 2018 3:59 pm

Any comment on how to work with your current hosting company to address slow load times? For example, how can you negotiate for better performance if it is clear from Chrome developer diagnostics that the host server itself (not content, images etc.) is creating more than two seconds’ delay on a site?

Jodi Shaw
April 10, 2018 9:00 am

Honestly Matt most of us that are Influencers have affiliate links. I think the article was unbiased, nowhere in the article did they hey choose this one we think they are best. The author listed all the sites they felt were good and gave a short snippet on why.

Matt B
April 10, 2018 9:10 am
Reply to  Jodi Shaw

I take your points onboard but the first 4 recommendations (in the 1-10 list) all have affiliate links and over half the links in the article to external hosting sites do the same. I still think this makes for a biased article.

Sabina Ionescu
April 10, 2018 5:40 pm
Reply to  Matt B

It’s not the first time someone mentions the affiliate links. And it’s not the first time we’ve explained that affiliate marketing doesn’t interfere with our editorial staff. Our writers work independently and don’t have a “hidden agenda”. Links are added afterwards – because they are a source of revenue. But this does not mean that our articles are biased.
For transparency, we also have a disclaimer at the end of the post mentioning the aff links. Also, we’re discussing this openly with you, so hope this adds to your lost trust 🙂

Jenny Wilson
May 28, 2018 1:27 pm

We moved our sites to SiteGround and A2 Hosting. I would proudly say they are the best!

Vashishtha ServerGuy
May 11, 2018 1:24 pm

Chances are you may end up buying an expensive WordPress hosting and still won’t get good results.
For better performance, you must make sure that:
1. Using Premium DNS or Route53 (Amazon AWS)
2. The Best CDN, MaxCDN or CloudFront
3. The Server is on Litespeed Technology
4. You can make your website load fast even on a shared server, all you need to know is optimization.

Pamella
August 20, 2018 1:56 pm

When it comes to fast WordPress hosting, the provider, which immediately comes into my mind is BGOcloud. Their services include CloudFlare CDN, SSD storage, and other features, which help websites to achieve faster loading time and better performance.

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